More than 1,500 New Yorkers gathered today in Manhattan to mourn the death of a 32 year-old gay man, who was shot down on Friday just blocks away from the historic Stonewall Inn in an apparent act of anti-gay bias.
Trans People of Color Coalition Founder Kylar Broadus Urges More Equality on TDOR
Since 1998, the trans community and allies have observed one day in November to honor the trans people who we've lost to anti-transgender violence. Transgender Day of Remembrance, TDOR, has since become an international observation of to honor the memories of brave individuals who dared to be their most authentic selves while simulatenously serving as a call to action for equality for trans Americans.
GLAAD worked with trans advocate and founder of the Trans People of Color Coalition, Kylar Broadus, on a piece that encourages economic empowerment and stability for trans Americans, particuarly trans people of color who are more likely that their counterparts to experience violence and discrimination based on who they are.
From his article on HuffingtonPost
One of the major obstacles to overcoming this hate and violence would be economic stability and empowerment of the trans community. Trans people, particularly communities of color, make less than $10,000 per year if employed, according to "Injustice at Every Turn." We know that joblessness leads to homelessness, poor health care and being vulnerable on the streets. We are not unemployed because we are lazy, unskilled or unintelligent or don't want to work. It is because society does not deem us worthy of even having a job. The playing field is not level. If we choose to disclose our true selves and not hide, we are not hired. If we choose not to disclose but later are found to be trans, we are fired or harassed and forced from employment. Or, even worse, we feel like we must hide the fact that we are trans as if it were some dirty little secret. We should not have to hide to be employed. Our employability should not hinge upon being able to hide but upon being qualified for the job. Being trans is only one part of a person! We are much more than just trans.Let's take affirmative steps to decrease the horrific murders and other harm due to fear and ignorance. In an effort to stop the hate and save precious lives, my hope and my request is that from this time of reflection, we as one village --nationally and globally -- lay down our swords of hate, violence, fear and ignorance. I ask every reader to commit to educating yourself and getting to know trans people. My guess is that you're even related to someone or work with someone whom you just might not know is trans. Secondly, I ask you to be aware of your actions and words so as not to perpetuate hate or violence, then to take action and contact your local, state and congressional legislators to urge passage of employment protections and other policies that affect trans people. There is no protection from employment discrimination nationally for those who are transgender. Work with local, state and national court systems and law enforcement to educate and inform. I am asking communities of color to step up and protect members within our own communities. If we abuse someone within our own community or allow them to be abused because of bigotry, then what are we saying about our own worth? Is bigotry of any kind acceptable? Even the kind perpetuated against you?Communities of color, I am asking you to stand with us. We are people of color who happen to be trans. We didn't choose communities. Lesbian, gay and bisexual people, we fought with you and are also a part of your community. Some of us may be lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual or straight.This is a call to action!
Economic empowerment, health disparties and anti-transgender violence continue to be overarching issues for trans Americans when trying to participate fully in their communities. GLAAD commends Kylar for his article and continue work to employ trans people of color.
Kylar Broadus is an African-American transgender advocate, lawyer, and board member for the National Black Justice Coalition, a national black LGBT civil rights organization based in Washington, D.C. He is also the founder of the Trans People of Color Coalition, the only national social justice organization promoting the interests of transgender people of color.